Underage drinking, traffic a concern for Florida Georgia Line co - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Underage drinking, traffic a concern for Florida Georgia Line concert

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Florida Georgia Line. (Wikicommons photo) Florida Georgia Line. (Wikicommons photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The country music superstar duo Florida-Georgia line is coming to Hartford on Friday, along with concerns from police and doctors.

The concert is slated for 8 p.m. at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford as part of the group's Smooth Tour.

"Florida Georgia Line is expected to have 24,000 plus people there and the yard goats are expected to have 7,000 people there," Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley said.

Foley said police will have 90 officers on hand, along with a garbage truck to immediately dispose of any illegal booze. He added underage drinking in the parking lots surrounding the venue have been an issue in the past.

 "Something that we've been prepping for a few weeks and have had some concern based on previous concerts this summer," Foley said.

Mayor Luke A. Bronin said police have been working with Xfinity Theatre as well as "operators of surrounding parking lots will pay for additional officers to patrol and enforce underage drinking laws."

"We encourage parents to drop their kids at the gate of the venue so that they avoid drinking altogether," Bronin said in a statement on Thursday. 

"It happened in my family. So it's something that's personal for me and I understand it. These are great kids that just make poor decisions," Foley said. "The risks, the punishments and the dangers here in the city are much greater for a teenager here and they could obviously end up in a hospital or a courtroom or worse." 

Back in July, Chance the Rapper had a sold out show on another Friday night. Police said more than 90 people were taken to hospitals by ambulance for severe intoxication, and many of them were underage. There were about 70 officers on patrol for that concert.  

"Ninety officers, that's to include the traffic, that's to include the inside detail and the outside detail and the liquor enforcement," Foley said.

The officers will be paid for by the venue and by a grant through the Department of Transportation to enforce underage drinking.

"They hired a garbage truck for us to bring our booze that we confiscate to immediately be destroyed so that garbage truck will be on site," Foley said. "This will probably be our largest underage drinking enforcement that we'll effort thus far."

Local hospitals have been given the heads up as well.

"They'll ask us if its a really large number how many we can accommodate and they will try to spread them out evenly across the hospitals," Dr. Kenneth Robinson, who is the Chief of Emergency Medicine at Hartford Hospital, said. 

Police said, as with most popular concerts, traffic may also become a bit congested.

For real-time traffic updates, check out the WFSB traffic map here.

The parking lots will open around 5 p.m. Foley said if your child is going, make sure you see them go through the front gate.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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